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Luxembourg’s research community committed to Open Access

Open Access.

Open Access is the immediate, online, free availability of research outputs without any restrictions on use commonly imposed by publisher copyright agreements.

Open Access is essential to accelerate academic innovation processes while improving the visibility of research results.

Recently, Bibliothèque Nationale du Luxembourg, the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), as well as the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) strengthened their commitment to Open Access, reaching a publishing agreement with open access publisher Frontiers. The aim is to help streamline and simplify operations for eligible authors.

Opening science to the largest

Open Access publications contribute to a more efficient use of research results, boost the potential for innovation, increase the visibility of researchers and their research institutions, and create better conditions for a return on investment of public money.

Thanks to the recent agreement, participating institutions and their researchers are Plan S compliant. Plan S is a multi-funder open access mandate, which from January 2021 required all scientific articles that result from research funded by public grants to be published immediately open access in compliant venues.

Open Access fund by FNR

The FNR policy is part of the global transition to Open Access and the national Open Access policy that is supported by all major research institutions.

To help grantees comply with this policy, the FNR designed guidelines and a dedicated Open Access fund. This funding instrument is intended to provide compensation for article processing costs that may result from the open access publication of peer-reviewed results of research funded or co-funded by the FNR.

Discover FNR OPEN ACCESS FUND

Read details about National Library of Luxembourg and Frontiers strike national Open Access publishing agreement

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In conversation with our young researchers: Dr Sofie Waltl

How much does the housing market affect the economy? How to measure aggregate house price movements? Are measurement tools fit for purpose? Sofie Waltl, a postdoc researcher at Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) and assistant professor at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), is developing methodology to improve economic measurement tools mainly for housing-,…

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In conversation with our young researchers: Dr Susheel Bhanu Busi

How does microbial life survive in harsh ecosystems like glacier-fed streams? What functions do biodiversity and ecosystem provided by these communities have? Why it has become urgent to study them? Dr. Susheel Bhanu Busi is a Postdoctoral Researcher with a molecular microbiology background in the Systems Ecology group at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB)…

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France-Luxembourg space cooperation to focus on exploration and resources

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Inside Research Luxembourg Latest news

In conversation with our young researchers: Dr Sofie Waltl

Data-intensive research.

Housing markets form an integral part of the economy and everyone is affected by housing price fluctuations, either directly as owners or indirectly as renters. Accordingly, housing markets are monitored by many parties including policy makers, investors, landlords and planners. House price indices are an important tool for assessing housing markets, although standard indices are probably not fully capturing and understanding the complex dynamics of these markets.

How much does the housing market affect the economy? How to measure aggregate house price movements? Are measurement tools fit for purpose?

Sofie Waltl, a postdoc researcher at Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) and assistant professor at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), is developing methodology to improve economic measurement tools mainly for housing-, wealth- and inequality-related issue.

A mathematical approach to economics

Through her various research projects, Sofie Waltl showed that standard house price indices are not enough to fully understand and capture the dynamics in housing markets. Indeed, standard index construction techniques might be imprecise to detect changes in the general tendency of house price trends. This issue is critical as the relation between prices and rents varies quite significantly within a market.

To address this challenge, the economist designs new techniques or adaptations of existing techniques to enhance the assessment of housing markets. This also includes exploring other types of data collection including surveys and experimental techniques. Having several types of data all describing the same phenomenon allows her to study also how people think about their decisions.

“I work on developing methodology to improve economic measurement tools mainly for housing-, wealth- and inequality-related issues. Due to my work on housing topics, I also drifted a bit towards policy-evaluation and design. In particular, I recently worked on rent control policies in a historic setting in St. Petersburg and currently a recent debate about rent control in Berlin.”

“All projects have in common being very data-intensive and I’m fascinated employing all kinds of data sources: hard to access historic sources and messy web-scraped data up until neatly collected experimental, survey and administrative data. In short: I love data and how to filter the information I am interested in from a bulk of numbers.”

Dr Sofie Waltl

Research, what else?

After graduating in mathematics from the University of Graz in Austria, Sofie Waltl was interested in applying what she had gained. To her studying mathematics leads to a certain way of thinking : “you acquire profound skills to discover meaningful paths through chaos, find creative problem-solving skills and are used to intellectual complex moves”. Following a conversation with one of her supervisors she realised that mathematics played a key role for economists to build precisely defined models from which exact conclusions can be derived with mathematical logic. And so the economist emerged.

“While writing my Master’s thesis and after a couple of internships, I was quite convinced that research was the thing I wanted to do. I’ve always had a bit the feeling that research is kind of a natural fit.”

Dr Sofie Waltl

Why Luxembourg as a research destination?

To Sofie Waltl, “working in such a multi-disciplinary research setting is very fruitful.”

“There is a lot happening in a rather small place and communication across institutions works quite well at the level of researchers. I believe that this is something rather hard to find in large countries – simply because you cannot just physically pass by at every single institution you are interested in without having to travel large distances.”


Dr Sofie Waltl

An FNR CORE programme grantee

On top of holding a postdoc position in LISER, Sofie Waltl successfully applied for a large-scale research grant as a principal investigator by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) CORE programme.

Her research project, entitled Are People Aware of their (Housing) Wealth? Assessing Owner-Estimated Home Values in Survey and Experimental Data, seeks to develop accurate measurement of the stock of housing wealth, its distribution within society, and heterogeneity in (housing) wealth.

Through this programme, she can hire young researchers, target more complex research designs and just scale up by increasing the number of research papers she is working on as well as the number of research collaborations worldwide.

More about FNR CORE programme

About living in Luxembourg

The researcher likes the multi-cultural flair in the city of Luxembourg. In particular, she enjoys the local culture and the many activities in the city, especially during summertime.

“On a normal day in Luxembourg, I usually would have used at least some words from 2-4 languages – just on my way from home to work. I really like the combination of locals and people from everywhere.”

Dr Sofie Waltl

More about Sofie Waltl

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In conversation with our young researchers: Adelene Lai

PhD candidate Adelene Lai at Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) is an environmental cheminformatician who develops workflows, algorithms, and software to help identify environmental chemicals. 16% of annual […]

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Industrial & Service Transformation Latest news Sustainable & Responsible Development

Meet Luxembourg digital twin

Digital Twin.

A digital twin is a virtual representation of physical systems, e.g. traffic, water or air, and physical assets like buildings or resources, that can make simulations, tests and predictions of planned actions in near real-time.

What’s a digital twin for? How such a project further supports Luxembourg in being a hub of excellence in terms of digital development?

Researchers from Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) in close cooperation with the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) at the University of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) are working on a digital twin of Luxembourg. This digital replica is set to be the world’s first-ever nationwide platform.

Such an innovation would propel Luxembourg to becoming a centre of excellence in digital development, making it even more attractive to international industrial companies willing to introduce their products and services to the European market and to academic players looking for a digital-friendly environment to develop research and innovation.

A digital twin to build a more resilient society

Digital twins have become important tools for improving our understanding of complex systems and helping us make informed decisions.

While digital replicas are commonly used to represent a car, a tunnel or an entire factory, Luxembourg researchers are building a nation twin.

This digital replica would be a virtual representation of physical systems and physical assets in Luxembourg that can make simulations, tests and predictions of planned actions almost in real time.

Luxembourg digital doppelgänger will help to build a more resilient society that can bring better understanding of the country and predict how it will behave during future crises.

An innovative solution to respond to crises

Luxembourg’s digital twin is proving to be a useful tool for managing health or environmental crisis situations.

During the pandemic, researchers set up a visualisation board as a “window” on the digital twin to help manage the crisis. Basically, they used it to visualise the impact of policy decisions – closing schools, reopening restaurants, keeping borders open, etc. – on the expected number of infections and hospitalisations as well as on different socio-economic variables.

The digital replica also spans other issues, including energy. In this case the solution finds its way into how to make the grid safer and more resilient.

A major challenge is to develop analytical methods that can handle the huge amount of data involved. As such, explainable and reliable AI would be helpful.

NATIONTWIN (Responsible AI for a NATION-wide and privacy preserving Digital TWIN) is supported by the FNR’s INITIATE programme.

More about Luxembourg Digital Twin

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XAI: Understanding how machines make decisions

Researchers at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) from the University of Luxembourg are developing AI algorithms based on XAI principles. The objective? To make sure that we are aware and in full control of the decisions made by AI. Explainable artificial intelligence to gain momentum Machine learning is becoming increasingly important.…

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From lab to startup: digitalUs

Whenever you go online, you leave a digital trail of information footprint. It says where you’ve been, how long you’ve been there and what you’ve been doing. Whenever you sign up for an online service, send an email and upload your photo, this personal information is accessible and therefore adds to your digital footprint. From this…

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In conversation with our young researchers: Dr Alexander Steen

The ubiquity of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the fact that no scientist can be an expert in every field means AI is an interdisciplinary field at heart. Computational logician and AI researcher Postdoc Dr Alexander Steen, has chosen Luxembourg to run his research projects. The expertise in the research group Dr Steen is associated with…

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Latest news Sustainable & Responsible Development

HASARD®, real-time flood mapping

HASARD®.

A technology developed at LIST and patented enables the generation of flood maps on a global scale from satellite data.

As the effects of climate change have become increasingly apparent, there is a rush to develop technologies to predict, monitor and mitigate the impact of natural disasters.

At the forefront of these efforts, a team of researchers of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) developed HASARD® – a new near-real-time flood monitoring solution.

An earth observation system

The HASARD® software is an unprecedented tool for generating real-time flood maps on a global scale. Developed within the Remote Sensing and Natural Resources Modelling group of the Environmental Research and Innovation Department in LIST, Patrick Matgen, Ramona Pelich, Marco Chini and Renaud Hostache created this earth observation system. 

“Our technology allows to provide a near-real time overview of the floods that have been affecting Luxembourg and the Greater Region for several days.”

Patrick Matgen PhD co-creator of HASARD with Ramona Pelich, Renaud Hostache and Marco Chini

This innovation has already proven its usefulness during floods all over the world. Case in point: the technology was at play to monitor cyclone Idai in Mozambique in March 2019.

A made-in-Luxembourg solution used by the world’s biggest players

In Europe, HASARD ® has attracted the attention of the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA). The HASARD® processor is now one of the three algorithms being used operationally for generating a daily ensemble-based water bodies map at global scale as part of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS) managed by the Joint Research Centre.

Globally, the software has also been used by different organisations such as NASA’s Earth Science Disaster Programme, the United Nations World Food Programme and the United Nations Satellite Centre UNOSAT in the framework of their emergency response.

As HASARD has proved successful, the software is now part of a spin-off, called WASDI. The company brings together the Italian company FadeOut, RSS Hydro and LIST. Among its first partners, the spin-off can count on the World Food Programme and the World Bank. ESA and LSA have also already shown great interest in the potential offered by the creation of the spin-off.

Discover more about LIST Remote Sensing and Natural Resources Modelling group

Read more about HASARD®.

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Floods: understanding, monitoring and anticipating

Why do heavy rains and floods occur? Can we predict such disasters? Where does Research Luxembourg stand? The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) environmental researchers use their interdisciplinary skills in hydrology, hydrogeology and remote sensing for extremely precise flood monitoring. What caused the devastating flood events? Heavy rainfall leads to what is known as…

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How satellite tech can power our new 5G world?

New SnT project, conducted in cooperation with leader in global content connectivity solutions SES, envisions a fundamental shift in the emerging 5G wireless system towards closer integration with satellite systems. Advancing data networks Integrating satellite and terrestrial systems is crucial as truly global next-generation networks require an ecosystem of multiple communication infrastructures to be inclusive, ubiquitous and affordable.…

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Luxembourg lunar robotics to help create permanent base on the moon

On Asteroid Day, the Space Robotics Research Group (SpaceR) is giving a tour of LunaLab facility. The research group’s lunar robotics work could help create a permanent base on the moon by identifying the water-ice and minerals needed to build structures, sustain life, and manufacture rocket fuel locally at the new moon base. The lunar base will…

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Latest news Sustainable & Responsible Development

Floods: understanding, monitoring and anticipating

Hydrology.

Western Europe has been hit by days of torrential rain and flooding. Several teams of researchers are monitoring flood events from the ground to the sky.

Why do heavy rains and floods occur? Can we predict such disasters? Where does Research Luxembourg stand?

The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) environmental researchers use their interdisciplinary skills in hydrology, hydrogeology and remote sensing for extremely precise flood monitoring.

What caused the devastating flood events?

Heavy rainfall leads to what is known as flash flooding. In this case, a lot of rain falls locally in a very short time. So much that the soil surface is quickly saturated with water and the rest of the rain can no longer drain away. This results in flooding. Such a situation can also happen after a dry period of several weeks. But when too much rain falls at the same time, the water does not have time to reach the deeper layers of the soil.

The recent situation is different. It is not just a local phenomenon affecting individual villages, but a large region that spans several countries. The weather has been rather erratic and rainy for weeks, and rain has been falling heavily and continuously. The soils are saturated from the ground up. All the rain can hardly infiltrate or be absorbed by the soil.

“Flash floods are very difficult to predict. Especially because they occur locally and at extremely short notice. This is also where the greatest need for research still exists.”

“The frequency of such localised weather events has increased in recent years. And we assume it will continue to increase, even though the observation series are still too short for making valid statistical assessments.”


Prof. Dr. Habil. Laurent Pfister

Head of the Environmental Sensing and Modelling unit at LIST

In the Greater Region, warm and humid air masses from the Mediterranean collided with colder air masses from the Atlantic. This strong contrast eventually led to very heavy rainfall and flooding.

Collecting water pathways data to anticipate extreme events

Data collected on water pathways (infiltration into the soil, surface runoff, water residence time) are particularly relevant to better understand and anticipate extreme hydrometeorological events like floods.

“By improving our knowledge of the catchment areas’ functioning, their capacity to collect, store and redistribute rainwater, we will be able to better anticipate their response to increasingly significant climatic and anthropogenic forcing.”

Prof. Dr. Habil. Laurent Pfister
Head of the Environmental Sensing and Modelling unit at LIST

Since 1995, LIST has gradually implemented a rather unique hydro-meteorological observatory – consisting of nearly twenty nested catchments of different sizes and physiographic characteristics (geology, soil type, land use, topography), all monitored every 15 minutes for a plethora of meteorological variables, river discharge, and groundwater levels.

The observatory has become a testbed for exploring the potential for new technologies and protocols to overcome technological limitations and bottlenecks that have eventually stymied progress in water resources research for decades.

The tested innovations span from telecommunication microwave links for measuring precipitation, thermal IR imagery for mapping saturated area dynamics, portable mass spectrometers for measuring in the field stable isotopes of O and H in water, passive samplers for deriving seasonal sequences of flood event loads, terrestrial diatoms as hydrological tracers of the onset/cessation of surface runoff, to the use of freshwater mussels to reconstruct decades of signatures of stable isotopes of O in stream water.

Thanks to this dense observation network, the LIST environmental researchers have been able to exploit hydrometeorological data series dating back more than two decades – thereby demonstrating the decisive role of the geological substrates and their contrasting degrees of permeability – and thus water storage capacity – in the genesis of floods.

This information will be pivotal in the assessment of the country’s water resources resilience to global change.

Discover more about LIST Environmental Sensing and Modelling unit

LIST researchers have developed the HASARD® software, an unprecedented tool for generating real-time flood maps on a global scale. Read more about HASARD®.

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Green Bonds: Why life cycle assessment is useful?

Green bonds have emerged as a key instrument to fund projects contributing to climate change mitigation or environmental protection. Yet, there is currently no consistent, robust and comparable standard for estimating the environmental impacts of green bonds. This may hamper the growth of sustainable finance. Using life cycle assessment (LCA) can provide a comprehensive environmental…

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Bicycle sharing: researching its impact in urban areas

Growth of bicycle sharing has been facilitated by technological and market innovation as well as the capital to promote and develop the schemes June 3rd is World Bicycle Day, a day intended to promote cycling for sport and health, but also to encourage its many possible social, equity, and environmental outcomes. The concept of bicycle…

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Smart mobility: What does the future hold?

The EU aims to have three million electric vehicle charging points and 1,000 hydrogen filling stations in operation across the continent by 2030. In this context, automated mobility will be deployed at large scale with digitalisation fuelling increasingly multi-modal transportation options. Luxembourg offers mobility innovators a real life laboratory. Here they can test new solutions which…

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Industrial & Service Transformation Latest news

Research X Construction to give bot situational awareness skills

Giving bot new navigation capabilities.

Luxembourg Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) and construction company Stugalux have entered a three-year research partnership focusing on advancing navigation capabilities of mobile robots for 3D information collection on construction sites.

New SnT project, conducted in cooperation with Luxembourg-based construction company Stugalux, will provide the robotic dog with the ability to navigate autonomously in the construction site without prior site detection solely based on digital models.

The three-year project will add a new advanced situational awareness skill to the robot. This new capability will help the robot to understand Stugalux’s digital building plans and to navigate the construction site by relying solely on measurements from on-board sensors

Artificial intelligence dedicated to robot dog training

The project seeks to build an artificial intelligence that allows the robot to move autonomously around a construction site to supervise the construction process.

Autonomous mobility means that the bot will no longer be remotely operated by a human agent nor will it need to perform and record the walking task beforehand.

Such intelligence means that the robot will be able to read the digital plans of a construction site. It will also understand where it is and move autonomously to acquire the data needed for the project. To continue to navigate as the environment changes, the bot will have to learn continuously from its environment.

Making robot dog more accessible

The research partnership also aims to enable construction staff to use the robot and the data capture process. As such, the technology won’t be available solely to robotics experts. This means that the robot will be more accessible to the property development sector, as it will not require specialist knowledge. By the end of the project, the robot should save time in the construction sector, thus reducing project costs.

Meet the research team

Eduardo Schmidt

Doctoral Reseacher, SnT

Hriday Bavle

 Research Associate, SnT

Jose Luis Sanchez Lopez

Research Scientist

 Prof. Holger Voos

Head of the Automation and Robotics research group.

More about the Automation and Robotics research group.

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Of Robots and Humans: Towards safe cohabitation?

Are robots and humans bound to live in dangerous liaisons or to live happily ever after? Making robots autonomous has been a rising trend in the robotics industry over the past few years. TRANSCEND, a research project funded in the context of the Audacity funding instrument of the University’s Institute for Advanced Studies, is exploring…

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Inside Research Luxembourg Latest news Sustainable & Responsible Development

In conversation with our young researchers: Dr Susheel Bhanu Busi

Biofilms in high-alpine streams.

As climate change melts away frozen landscapes, high alpine ecosystems are threatened. While we think of them as too extreme to harbor life, we know they’re not only habitable, but they are major ecosystems. In these environments, cold-adapted microorganisms are not only surviving but growing. Understanding how these tiny organisms can thrive in such extreme conditions is a priority.

How does microbial life survive in harsh ecosystems like glacier-fed streams? What functions do biodiversity and ecosystem provided by these communities have? Why it has become urgent to study them?

Dr. Susheel Bhanu Busi is a Postdoctoral Researcher with a molecular microbiology background in the Systems Ecology group at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) at the University of Luxembourg. He is studying how biofilms and the domains within like archaea, bacteria, viruses and (micro)eukaryotes adapt to life in alpine streams originating from glaciers.

Microrganisms colder than ice

Glacier-fed streams are harsh ecosystems dominated by microbial life organised in benthic (at the bottom of a body of water) biofilms, yet the biodiversity and ecosystem functions provided by these communities remain under-appreciated.

To better understand the microbial processes and communities contributing to glacier-fed stream ecosystems, the microbiologist uses high throughput sequencing. Low biomass and high inorganic particle load in glacier-fed stream sediment samples may affect nucleic acid extraction efficiency using extraction methods tailored to other extreme environments such as deep-sea sediments.

Originally a wet-lab researcher, manipulating liquids, biological matter, and chemicals, Dr Susheel Busi now straddles both the wet- and dry-lab, focusing on computational methods, to study biofilms in alpine streams. In practice, he used an adapted phenol-chloroform-based extraction method which resulted in higher yields and better recovered the expected taxonomic profile and abundance of reconstructed genomes. His studies provide a first systematic and extensive analysis of the different options for extraction of nucleic acids from glacier-fed streams.

“I believe that my current research into biofilms in alpine streams sheds light on how archaea/bacteria/viruses/microeukaryotes adapt to the cold and harsh environments. More importantly, it sheds the light on the rapid pace at which we are losing high alpine ecosystems due to accelerated global warming, and climate change in general.”


Dr Susheel Bhanu Busi

Research to make the world a better and safer place

Dr Susheel Bhanu Busi’s research journey started as an undergrad at the Madras Christian College in Chennai, India. Looking through the ocular of the microscope he got fascinated by the idea of motility in bacteria. Subsequently, his research led him to a Master’s in Biomedical Sciences at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland in the USA, where he worked on culturing a probiotic bacterium resistant to both high-temperatures and a low-pH.

“The idea was to use this commercially in both food and animal-feed preparations without losing viability of the bacterium and incidentally this also brought me a patent.”

Dr Susheel Bhanu Busi

The researcher’s interest in biofilms and the interactions therein grew as a PhD student at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

“My PhD work identified not only biomarkers of colon cancer allowing for non-invasive screening, but also certain bacteria that may one day be used as potential therapeutics.”

Dr Susheel Bhanu Busi

Why Luxembourg as a research destination?

Having lived in the USA for 10 years, the microbiologist was seeking a new challenge. He was already aware of Luxembourg, specifically of Prof. Paul Wilmes. “The prospect of working with one of the leaders in the field of multi-omics, coupled with the very collaborative environment the LCSB offered was as good a reason as any to come here. Looking back, I wouldn’t have chosen any other way!”

To Susheel Bhanu Busi, “Luxembourg punches well above its weight in the sense that despite being a smaller country, the research community is both diverse and internationally acclaimed.”

“The resources made available to researchers via the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), coupled with the vast levels of expertise across many areas of Science, not just at the LCSB, but also the LIH, LNS, LIST would be ideal for researchers at all career levels. Most importantly, the interdisciplinarity of the research happening across the several labs make Luxembourg one of the premier destinations for microbiome and multi-omic research.”

“From my experience in the USA, I can attest to the world-class facilities available here in Luxembourg for those involved in small animal model research. The microbiome research infrastructure such as the Sequencing Platform at the LCSB speaks for itself, with its highly integrated role in many research projects across many Life Science disciplines. The same holds true for the Metabolomics platform, where many future microbiome studies will eventually gravitate towards.”


Dr Susheel Bhanu Busi

Interdisciplinarity and collaboration

Belonging to the Systems Ecology group at the LCSB, Susheel Bhanu Busi has been involved in many collaborative research projects in Luxembourg.”When I first started in the Systems Ecology group with Prof. Paul Wilmes, I had the opportunity to work on the ‘Colonization, succession and evolution of the human gastrointestinal microbiome from birth to infancy’ project in collaboration with Dr. Carine de Beaufort, specialising in paediatric diabetology at the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL), and the Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg (IBBL).” He is also currently working on a project looking into the evolution of antibiotic resistance in mice in collaboration with Dr. Elisabeth Letellier from the Department of Life Sciences and Medicine (DLSM).

Dr Susheel Bhanu Busi is a member of the Luxembourg Society of Microbiology, which every year brings together all researchers and stakeholders involved in Microbiology in Luxembourg and further fosters a collaborative environment.

International collaborative studies with labs in Bangladesh, Germany, India, Switzerland and the USA span from antimicrobial resistance and animal models to extending bioprospecting efforts in other ecosystems. For instance, the glacier-fed stream biofilm project is a collaboration with Prof. Tom Battin at the Stream Biofilms and Ecosystems Research (SBER) lab at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

“The research environment in Luxembourg, especially at the LCSB is amazingly interdisciplinary and fosters collaborations both within the country and also internationally. “

Dr Susheel Bhanu Busi

About living in Luxembourg

Having grown up in India and then lived in the USA, Susheel Bhanu Busi finds that Luxembourg is a happy median between the two countries.

“Luxembourg has the accessibility and ease of access to many things governing one’s life, that the States offer, with the mix of family-oriented values that are reminiscent, to me at least, of home (India)”

Dr Susheel Bhanu Busi

More about the Systems Ecology Group of LCSB

More about Susheel Bhanu Busi

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In conversation with our young researchers: Pauline Mencke

Neurodegenerative diseases and cancer affect millions of people worldwide. Translational neuroscientist Pauline Mencke has chosen Luxembourg to study a gene that is involved both in Parkinson’s disease and the […]

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About Luxembourg Industrial & Service Transformation Latest news

France-Luxembourg space cooperation to focus on exploration and resources

Quadripartite agreement.

French government space agency CNES, the Luxembourg Space Agency, the European Space Resources Innovation Centre and Air Liquide confirmed their commitment to work together on developing research and technology activities. In the months ahead, the four partners will be collaborating on research projects encompassing space exploration and in situ resource utilisation.

A first workshop between French government space agency CNES and Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA) identified joint initiatives aiming in particular to address the challenges and opportunities arising out of developments in space exploration. At the same time, LSA, the European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC) and Air Liquide, drawing on a 50-year heritage of handling gases in space, engaged discussions with a view to collaborating on production and use of gases produced from in situ space resources.

Developing the space ecosystem

Multilateral discussions subsequently confirmed a shared interest in working together in areas such as in situ production and storage of oxygen and hydrogen, production and storage of hydrogen energy in space and on the lunar surface, technologies for life support, and the refueling of satellites and launchers in orbit.

ESRIC is a young initiative like no other in Europe, powered by LSA and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), with ESA as a strategic partner. We believe this new collaboration between France and Luxembourg will be instrumental in developing our centre and we’re delighted to be working with players like CNES and Air Liquide.”

Mathias Link, ad-interim Director of ESRIC

CNES, LSA, ESRIC and Air Liquide are in discussions to form within the 2022 timeframe joint teams to work on concrete research projects aimed at developing key technologies for in situ production and utilisation of gases required to make space exploration more viable in the long term.

These discussions come under the scope of the framework agreement signed between CNES and Luxembourg in 2009 that identifies a range of areas for cooperation including remote sensing, support for development of microsatellites by Luxembourg, innovative satellite technologies for telecommunications, materials analysis and expertise, and maritime safety.

Luxembourg, a space power

Luxembourg is a founding member of the Artemis Accords. As such the country plays central role in achieving a sustainable and robust presence on the Moon later this decade while preparing to conduct a historic human mission to Mars. These accords strengthen and put into effect the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.

The country is also home to the European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC), a joint initiative of the Luxembourg Space Agency and Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology with the European Space Agency as a strategic partner.

In 2017, Luxembourg took over as the first European country to provide a legal framework for Luxembourg-based companies to exploit space resources. This was further supported by legislation passed by the Luxembourg Parliament in December 2020.

Space-related research is part of the key research priorities, i.e. Industrial and Service Transformation. The University of Luxembourg and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) focus on autonomous vehicles, robotics, space communications and system critical software, while LIST concentrates on material sciences, biological sciences, and Earth observing.

While waiting to go into space, see a lunar rover drive around on the moon in augmented reality with FNR LetzScience App

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Luxembourg has built a thriving space industry, currently comprised of 60 companies and research labs and including a growing number of firms that build solutions for the commercial exploration and utilisation of space resources. Approximately 800 employees work in the space sector in Luxembourg, in research and development, manufacturing and operation. LuxSpace to enable space […]

Space Resources Week 2021

The Space Resources Week 2021, organized in Luxembourg, is a 4-day online conference connecting thought leaders from the terrestrial resources sector, aerospace industry, financial institutions, research institutes and academia. It aims at understanding the technical and economic challenges facing in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) and elaborating recommendations for the future development of this high technology sector. […]

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Exploring the origins and fate of lunar water

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is collaborating with institutes from Europe and abroad, for a more robust interpretation of lunar ‘soil’ analyses from samples beneath the surface in the South Pole region of the Moon. They are looking at how water ice molecules behave when changing from ice state to vapour state. “That’s […]

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Covid-19 taskforce Latest news Personalised Healthcare

How Covid-19 affects our mental health?

New longitudinal study analysed the mental health of the Luxembourgish population during first lockdown.

A new Research Luxembourg study found female and younger respondents reported higher rates of severe depression and anxiety symptoms, suggesting higher vulnerability to the pandemic control measures.

The first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak resulted in strict pandemic control measures in Luxembourg and other countries. While these measures expectedly had an impact on the mental health of Luxembourg residents, little data is available on the longitudinal evolution of population mental health measures during lockdown and during the gradual relaxation of the lockdown measures in spring 2020.

The new study conducted by the CON-VINCE consortium explored whether differential effects of COVID-19 restrictions on mental health could be observed by sex and age in a Luxembourgish nationally representative sample during the initial outbreak of COVID-19. The analysis assessed whether there are differences in risk and protective factors longitudinally at two assessment times.

A total of 1,756 respondents aged 18 years and older (50.74% women) reported sociodemographic and socio-economic characteristics, depression, anxiety, stress, and loneliness.

Women more vulnerable to depression

This study examined mental health during the initial COVID-19 containment measures in Luxembourg residents at baseline (one month after the start of the containment measures) and at follow-up (two weeks after baseline, at the start of the relaxation of the containment measures).

Overall, levels of stress, depression and anxiety were higher in women, indicating that the psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may be greater for women. In fact, women were more likely to have part-time jobs, to be homemakers or family caregivers, to work in the health sector and to have lower incomes.

While Luxembourg has taken several steps to bring about equality between men and women, there were still visible gender-related socio-economic differences in the study. For instance, women reported on average a lower income than men. In addition, women reported a higher rate of caring tasks.

Since the first wave of the pandemic, policy measures have been implemented in Luxembourg to buffer the impact of childcare closures, family leave and other measures that could aim to reduce the impact of the pandemic. Other measures could contribute to ensure a more equal use of family leave to increase work-family balance for mothers. A follow-up analysis one year into the pandemic will help to understand whether the existing measures were effective.

Younger groups more likely to present severe depression

In Luxembourg, younger respondents reported more symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety than older respondents. This could be explained by the fact that younger study participants are more vulnerable because they are exposed to a greater uncertainty about their future in terms of careers in a changing world, employment and a possible economic crisis.

Given the impact of the pandemic on social contacts, daily routines, employment and mobility prospects, the higher degrees of depression, anxiety, stress and loneliness reported by young respondents may reflect the suddenly changed conditions and prospects of today’s younger generation.

This study contributes to the investigation of mental health consequences of the pandemic and the pandemic control measures. In particular, it stresses out shifts in care task responsibilities and gender and socio-economic inequalities. It also highlights younger groups’ uncertainty about the future.

Meet the authors

Fabiana Ribeiro Fabiana Ribeiro is a postdoctoral Research Assistant at University of Luxembourg. She completed a Ph.D. in Basic Psychology in 2019, in which she investigated the effects of emotions evoked by music in the mnesic capacity.

At the moment, she works as a postdoctoral research under supervision of Professor Anja Leist, in which she investigates gender inequalities in cognitive ageing and differences in prevalence of memory impairment in Latin America and the Caribbeans, with a focus on temporal changes and prevalence of associated risk factors.

Valerie E. Schröder is a clinical neuropsychologist/research and development specialist, who has worked in different health care institutions in Luxembourg, Germany and Belgium with the aim to diagnose and treat cognitive dysfunctions in patients suffering from neurological disorders (e.g. neurodegenerative diseases, strokes, traumatic brain injury, etc) and to provide psychological support for patients and their caregivers.

She is currently working as a research and development specialist in the Translational Neuroscience group at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine in the “programme dementia prevention (pdp), a nation-wide integrated care concept coordinated by  Prof. Dr. med. Rejko Krüger.

Rejko Krüger is Professor for Clinical and Experimental Neuroscience at the University of Luxembourg and Director of Transversal Translational Medicine at the Luxembourg Institute of Health. He is coordinating the CON-VINCE study.

Since June 2019, he links between the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) and the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) to contribute to personalised medicine by implementing translational research programmes involving partners from different fields within a joint scientific strategy. Furthermore, he sees patients with Movement Disorders at the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg. Since 2017, the Ministry of Health is supporting Prof. Krüger to lead integrated healthcare concepts for neurodegenerative diseases in Luxembourg: the “Programme Démence Prévention” (an initiative to prevent dementia) and ParkinsonNet Luxembourg (a care network of health care professionals for Parkinson’s disease).

Anja Leist is Associate Professor in Public Health and Ageing and Vice-head of the Institute for Research on Socio-Economic Inequality in the Department of Social Sciences of University of Luxembourg. 

She is an expert on the topics of health inequalities, ageing, and cognitive ageing, with a social epidemiological and life course perspective. She had research stays at the universities of Luxembourg, Zurich/Switzerland, and Rotterdam/Netherlands, and was funded by several national and European funders, among them the European Research Council on the topic of cognitive ageing.

This work was supported by the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR) and the André Losch Foundation.

Read complete study The evolution and social determinants of mental health during the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in Luxembourg

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Prof. Dr. Symeon CHATZINOTAS
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SnT, University of Luxembourg

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